Keeping An Open Heart in the Age of Digital Dating

Someone liked my profile. A surge of endorphins.IMG_5861

An instant message arrives. The heart flutters.

He hasn’t signed in for two days. Is our future over?

Dating in the digital age poses many challenges. How do set boundaries in a pixelated world of anonymous personas and selective self-representation, yet still maintain the open heart that is needed to embrace opportunities of true connection?

We live in unprecedented times in this world of winking, liking, and hearting each other with the touch of a finger behind a mask of i-invisibility. There are no role models, no navigational maps, no how-to manuals. Thousands of years of courtship history are hardwired into us, causing us to respond to a 😉 on our screen with the same surge of hormones and emotions that we learned to have through an actual real life seductive smile from across a room.

How are we supposed to hold back these bursting-at-the-seams emotions when our interactions with the attractive gender are increasingly carried out over apps and websites? What is the appropriate level of emotional response to these minimally significant communications? The mind says “it’s not real,” but the body says “YES!!!” The disconnect between the rational and irrational parts of our minds can cause a lot of distress, leaving us insecure and unsure how to engage.

Finding appropriate boundaries in the world of online dating is something that we are collectively figuring out. Just as the generations before us carved out societal rules and expectations around courtship and marriage, we are the ones to figure out what the new levels of appropriateness should be, for ourselves, and for the generations that follow.

Hypnotherapy is a powerful tool for accessing your inner creativity and problem solving capacities. I often use hypnosis with my clients to help them to develop new strategies and boundaries that are aligned with their values. Those who experience this work are continually surprised by how much genius lies within the self when we are simply given the right tools for access.

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